in the United States anyway.
As of 8 pm Pacific Standard Time on May 13, 2015, I completed my contract with the community college. It is the last of my three jobs.
I got fired from the first one in January, except, no one told me. I worked hard as a research assistant, and now someone else’s name will go on the work. I quit the second job last week when I realized I spent more time hating the rude and horrid 13 year olds than helping them. They put me in a bad mood week after week, and I was unable to shut off my hatred of them and just do my job.
So I quit.
I only feel bad about quitting because my mom could use the help. I will say though, the yoga classes this week were a lot better because I wasn’t already frazzled when I got there.
The teaching job is a little different. I was actually a bit sad to see this job come to an end. The last time I was done with a job, it was to take the teaching job, so I was not the least bit sad to leave it. With this one, when I dismissed my students for the last time, I was sad to see them go. Many of them came up and gave me a hug, and a few of them who I have really gotten to know over the last year brought me gifts and really thoughtful cards. When a friend of mine asked me how I was feeling, and I gave him the honest answer.
I felt like I wanted to cry. I should be happy because now I have free time to sort out the packing and shipping, and really get into the literature I have found for the new project I am about to embark on, but when I was walking to my car last night, I was sad looking at the buildings and passing the library where I have spent the last month working with my students. I got an exit form, and when my grading is done, I will turn in my keys and the form. and be officially done with the campus. This job was my bright spot for the last year. Even when the rest of my world was falling down around me in flames, this job remained a bright spot. I liked my students for the most part, liked the people that I was working for and with, and thought that I was doing a pretty darn good job and teaching students how to write.
Earlier this week I got the written review of the class evaluation that I got in April. I was profoundly disappointed when I realized that I had simply been deemed “satisfactory.” I’ve never been just satisfactory at anything in my professional life. The thing is, nothing in the comments on the evaluation were bad. The couple of areas that needed to be improved were areas that I knew I was going to get dinged on (I mean, really, I have never used a rubric in my life). Satisfactory is good. Satisfactory is 80/100. The thing is, I do not feel like I am an 80/100. I’m a 100/100. I’m not sure why people do not see that. I know that the chair of the department was only in my class for an hour, but I have to say, I thought it was a pretty good hour. My mother patiently reminded me that I am a part timer, and that they had already offered me two classes for the fall, so I should be more than happy with my review. I was still smarting about my review at 8 pm last night when I let my class go for the last time. One of my students who I had both last semester and this semester came in and brought me a note that she had forgotten to give me when she saw me earlier in the day. This is what it says”
Dear Ms. Wilder,
I wanted to write (type) you a few words before you leave overseas. Well, to start off, congratulations on getting a full-time job in Scotland! I am truly happy for you. You have told us many times that you wanted a full-time job, and now you have it, although I am sad about it as well. You are the best English teacher I have ever had! I have learned so much in your class. I was so nervous when I started attending school because I had not been in school for so long, but you were helpful, and guided us throughout the semester. I am so thankful that I was able to attend your class this semester too. When I first started coming to college, I knew that I wanted to major in English, but plenty of people tried to talk me out of it. The reassurance I needed came when you told us that that you had majored in English, and all of the experiences you had encountered on your way to achieving a higher education in Scotland. Learning all about your achievements in general made me realize that I should pursue something that I love. So, I thank you for that. You are an extraordinary professor, and I want you to know that: I love the way you teach, the communication that you have with your students, the way you organize your lectures, the clarity of your explanations when getting into a new essay, the comments you write in our journals and our essays to help us improve our writing, your dedication to each and every one of us, even the fact that you play music before class starts. That is what makes you stand out from other professors, the time you take to do the small things for your students that make a huge difference for us. You are original in everything you do. Wherever you go, please do not lose your unique style, both in teaching and in fashion. I am really going to miss you Ms. Wilder, I believe that I speak for the entire class when I say that. Those Scottish students are lucky! Good luck with your upcoming job.
Your English 100 student
That is all it took to remind me that I am anything other than satisfactory. This student has a bright future, and is going to do well in life, and I am going to take a little bit of pride knowing that I had a little hand in helping them along.
I always say that regardless of how the semester goes, if I can reach just one student – then I was successful. And you, my dear, are absolutely successful!
It only takes one to make a year worth it. think of the others you affected that did not tell you. I am most proud that you know you are not satisfactory.